US pays Afghanistan shooting victims. How is this done?

So the victims from the recent shooting rampage in Afghanistan received $50k compensation. When you are dealing with rural villagers in a country like Afghanistan, how to you just compensate them? I would think cash would just make them a target for theft. There doesn’t seem to be a functional consumer baking system there, so it’s not like you can put the money in a bank account for them. So how exactly are these people compensated?

I have no first hand knowledge of how this particular case will be handled, but I have moved millions of dollars around Afghanistan. There are in fact banks in Afghanistan and I suspect that bank accounts will be created for them at the nearest hub, they will likely be brought in to a meeting with local elders, government of Afghanistan representatitves, and representatives of the US government who will explain the terms to them and how to access their money.

You are correct that such a large sum will put the family at increased risk of kiddnapping, extortion and exploitation.

They could always hire Blackwater.

They will likely pay protection money to the local taliban.

ETA: That’s not snark, that’s probably what they will have to do.

One of my additional duties in Afganistan was paying agent. I’ve seen larger transactions in cash. If bank accounts were created, I doubt there was any electronic funds transfer. The recipients would have to deposit their cash. It is possible that arrangements were made for security during transportation to the bank. But I would bet that actual cash was handed to the families at the governor’s office.

That is possible, but it is not unheard of for an Afghan farmer, small business man, or construction contractor to have a bank account. We disperse a lot of money for infrastructure projects in rural communities and it is not unknown for them to have a bank account available, but I have also seen wads of cash being handed over.

ETA: I believe it is 50K per family member slaughtered, so some survivors are going to receive really large payments in blood money.

You are saying that you have used electronic funds transfer for paying Afghanis? Or a check? Or what?
I am not saying that some of them do not have bank accounts. I am saying that IME, it isn’t relevant to how they are paid.

Indeed, I’ve heard that most baking in Afghanistan is intended for the business sector. Corporate loafs, Industrial baguettes, and so forth.

When we pay a contractor or a community development council, we can often transfer funds from our Kabul bank account to their account electronically. This is not always the case and we do still move cash, but we try to avoid that. In my experience it is not unheard of for an idividual to have a bank account, especially if said individual is expecting a large payment in cash, but there are still large payments made in cash.

Sorry to respond to my own post, but I’m in Afghanistan right now, starting up a new project so I had a discussion with my finance guys on how we are going to pay out money. Our preference is to transfer to accounts and we might require that they get a bank account if they will get more than X dollars from us (the amount is TBD). We will also use the hawala system by which we transfer, via bank transfer, money to a hawala broker who then delivers it to the recipient. But we are trying to get away from the days of moving bags of cash around the country, I’ve been on a couple of projects where the cash went astray.

Interesting, thanks! Having to be accountable for all that cash was always a pain in the ass. Between CERP, FOO 10, FOO 22, special projects, and money for snitches, it was amazing I found any time to do my real job. Every account needed a seperate safe and seperate paperwork and forms for each transaction requiring four signatures. EFT would have been so much easier.

I knew you were with the military, you guys were always dishing out bags of Benjamins :slight_smile:

Last year we had two staff who we’re pretty sure arranged a fake car jacking to steal $100k and we just completed an audit of a project a few years ago in which people were running around the country with bags of money, let’s just say there were significant audit findings.

From now on, we try to minimize home much cash we dish out.

You’d think by this point we’d get a punch card allowing us to kill every tenth civilian for free.

You’d think, that being a member of this board for seven years now, you’d try to keep a reply in General Question on topic. No warning, but try to stifle yourself.

samclem, MOderator

This is my experience, governor’s office and all. The Public Affairs Officer (PAO) or their rep meet the father at the home or office of the governor or sheikh or whomever and hands the father cash while apologizing profusely.

I remember one vehicle that got too close to our convey and the soldier did what he was supposed to do. It was completely legal (as far as laws of war go), but he ended up killing someone’s innocent daughter.

The soldier came to the blood-money meeting, at the family’s request, and the family understood completely that it was an unfortunate accident. They forgave the soldier, cried a lot, and went on with their lives. I remember the soldier being physically ill over what he’d done, even though he was supposed to do it, and that meeting was very cathartic for him.

Thank you all for the replies. Very interesting stuff.

From my inbox last week:

THE DOUBLE STANDARD SHOWS UP AGAIN!!!After reading the headlines about the US soldier who shot up Afghanistan civilians, I couldn’t help noticing an irony. There is all this clamor to try this guy quickly and execute him, never mind his having suffered a traumatic brain injury. Yet this Major Hasan, who shot up Fort Hood while screaming Allah akbar, still hasn’t stood trial, and they are still debating whether he was insane, even with the clear evidence regarding his motive: slay as many infidels as possible.So we have a guy in a war zone who cracks, and he must be executed immediately. But this Muslim psychiatrist who was stateside in a nice safe office all day murders 13, wounds 29 of our own guys, and they try to argue the poor lad suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome, from listening to real soldiers who had actual battle experience. Two and a half years later, they still haven’t tried the murderous bastard.

This has little to do with the topic at hand. Try to stay on topic. No warning.

samclem, moderator